Last year, the Bengals’ front office did something that was long overdue and honored its past greats with a Ring of Honor. Paul Brown, Anthony Muñoz, Ken Anderson, and Ken Riley were the first four to get in. This year, two more will be added. And it’s pretty hard to choose.
Below are the nominees with very brief descriptions of some of their notable contributions. After that you will see a poll asking you to choose the player you think most deserves to make it in this year.
2022 Ring of Honor Candidates
Willie Anderson, RT - He is widely considered the greatest right tackle in history. Perhaps his most impressive stat (as stats are hard to come by for offensive linemen) is that he only allowed 16 sacks in a 13 year career.
Jim Breech, K - He holds the Bengals franchise record with 1,151 points and was a perfect 9/9 in overtime field goals (NFL record). Breech played in both Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXIII and was perfect in them.
James Brooks, RB - He holds franchise records from rush yards/attempt in a career (4.8) and season (5.61 in 1989), yards from scrimmage in a season (1,773 yards in 1986), all-purpose yards in a season (also in 1986), and games with three or more touchdowns in a season (two such games in 1988).
Cris Collinsworth, WR - He also played in both Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXIII, catching five passes for 107 yards in the former and three passes for 40 yards in the latter, the final game of his career. He finished with 6,698 yards receiving, currently fifth best in franchise history. Collinsworth’s successful broadcasting career boosts his visibility and overall status.
Isaac Curtis, WR - An All-Pro three straight years (from 1974-76), he was so fast that helpless defensive backs—starting with Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins—were forced to push, bump, and even hold him downfield. This led to a new rule, “The Isaac Curtis Rule,” which states that a defender is only allowed to block a receiver up to five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Curtis finished with 7,101 yards receiving in his career, third best in franchise history.
Corey Dillon, RB - What can you say about Dillon? The man endured the roughest stretch of Bengals history as a running back, meaning, the team had an inconsistent line and was usually playing from behind. Still, he managed to wear down and bowl through opposing defensive lines. When he had it going, it was a sight to behold. Dillon went off on several occasions, including the games he set NFL records for single game rushing yards (278 yards against the Denver Broncos) and single game rushing yards by a rookie (246 yards in 1997). He is still the franchise leader for rushing yards with 8,061.
Boomer Esiason, QB - The greatest playaction quarterback in history, he was the signal caller for that Super Bowl XXIII team in 1988. That no-huddle, sugar huddle, Sam Wyche crew finished first in overall offense, and Esiason was named league MVP.
David Fulcher, S - He revolutionized the safety position. In just his third season, Fulcher was the biggest playmaker on the defensive side of the ball for that 1988 AFC Champion team. In the Super Bowl, he was everywhere, recording two tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. Watch the video below to see how the zone blitz originated on account of Fulcher’s special skillset and size:
Chad Johnson, WR - The franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards (10,783) and receiving touchdowns (66) arguably made a bigger contribution to the team’s culture. Johnson is a charismatic, witty, intelligent, and bold man who gave fans much-needed entertainment on the field after the trying 1990s. He wasn’t the fastest, but Johnson’s amazing footwork allowed him to get open consistently (or, according to him, on every play).
Tim Krumrie, DT - An All-Pro in 1988, he was the centerpiece of that AFC Champion defense, and his loss was sorely felt after getting injured in the big game. A testament to his toughness is that he refused to leave the stadium after snapping his lower leg, as he wanted to watch the game on television in the locker room. Eventually, he was convinced to go to the hospital after paramedics told him he could go into shock. The injury was so bad that a 15-inch steel rod had to be implanted into the leg to stabilize it.
Dave Lapham, OL - He moved all over the line and started in 105 games from 1974-1983. Lapham is half of the Bengals’ broadcasting duo along with Dan Hoard.
Max Montoya, G - One of the most underrated players in team history, he was the second-best offensive lineman for the Bengals during the Muñoz days. Montoya made four Pro Bowls in his career, three in Cincinnati and one at the age of 37, four years after the Bengals allowed him to join the Los Angeles Raiders in free agency.
Lemar Parrish, DB - An electric defensive back and punt returner, he made the Pro Bowl six times in just eight seasons in Cincinnati. In that span, he set a franchise record with an NFL-leading 18.8 yards per punt return in 1974 and became the Bengals’ all-time leader in touchdowns scored by return or recovery (13 total, with four from punt returns, four on interception returns, three on fumble returns, one on a kickoff return, and on a blocked field goal return). Parrish is third all time in franchise history for punt return yardage in a career (1,201).
Bob Trumpy, TE - Despite being selected in the 12th round of the 1967 Draft, he would become the franchise leader in receiving yards (4,600) and receiving touchdowns (35) for a tight end. His 15.4 yards per catch are also the highest for his position in team history.
Reggie Williams, LB - This playmaking linebacker overcame a bad right knee in his 14 seasons in the league to record 62.5 sacks and 16 interceptions.
He also has a number of accolades off the field. Williams, who graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in psychology in 1976, was named Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1986 and won the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for Humanitarian Service in 1985. In his final two seasons as a player, he was appointed to an open seat on the Cincinnati City Council.
After retiring in 1989, Williams became the vice president and general manager of the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football. And he was hired as director of sports development for Disney in 1993 and then the vice president of Disney Sports Attractions in 1998.
You can watch our discussion about Ring of Honor candidates below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below:
How do you pick between such great candidates? Share your opinion below. And if you’re a season ticket holder, that means you can actually vote, so long as you do so by June 10 using the Official Bengals app. Your vote counts for the number of consecutive years you’ve been a season ticket holder.
Who most deserves to be inducted into the Ring of Honor next?
This poll is closed